Robert Priddle obituary


My father, Robert Priddle, who has died aged 84, was a civil servant and power specialist who in the end grew to become the chief director of the Worldwide Vitality Company, a task he loved and which he fulfilled in Paris, a metropolis that he liked.

Robert was born in Cheam, Surrey, to Albert, a stockbroker, and Alberta. After gaining scholarships first to King’s faculty college in Wimbledon after which to Cambridge College, the place he studied historical past, in 1960 he entered the civil service. There he specialised in aerospace till 1973, power till 1985, and commerce and trade thereafter.

He loathed intolerance: he watched the federal government’s battle towards the putting miners in 1984-85 with deep unease, particularly since he was liable for administering the coverage. He appreciated neither Arthur Scargill, the miners’ chief, nor Ian MacGregor, the chairman of the Nationwide Coal Board, and felt communities had been deserted even when the case for long-term deep coal mining was unsupportable.

Though his politics had been appropriately non-ideological, he was a politically articulate man. By the top of his profession his best concern was that Britain had change into a rustic by which wealth was so erratically and unfairly shared that the ladder to cheap prosperity had been pulled up for many individuals.

By 1992 he was a deputy secretary on the Division of Commerce and Trade, however that yr had a falling-out with the secretary of state, Michael Heseltine. After asserting pit closures, Heseltine was embarrassed to seek out that these supporting the demonstrating miners included residents of Kensington and Chelsea. This left Robert feeling that he may not rise a lot additional.

For the subsequent two years he was deputy secretary in control of company and client affairs on the DTI, after which took up the Worldwide Vitality Company put up (1994-2002). The organisation suggested governments on power coverage and local weather change, and in direction of the top of his time in Paris Robert was appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (2001).

Dividing his time in retirement between the UK and the Loire Valley in France, he was a eager supporter of native environmental initiatives in Hampshire.

He’s survived by his spouse, Janice, whom he married in 1962, his kids, Duncan and me, and grandchildren, Luc and Milo.


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